Faraday Future Pins Growth on Asia, Names Ex-Jaguar Executive Its China CEO

Breanna De Vera

Breanna de Vera is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California, studying journalism and English literature. She previously reported for the campus publications The Daily Trojan and Annenberg Media.

Faraday Future Pins Growth on Asia, Names Ex-Jaguar Executive Its China CEO

Faraday Future named former Jaguar Land Rover executive Xuefeng "Chris" Chen as the chief executive of its China division as the company prepares to enter the world's largest electric vehicle market and develop its binational market strategy.

With a new Chinese investor, Faraday is focused on developing its market in China, which is over triple the size of the U.S. market, according to a 2019 report by the International Energy Agency.


"Chris is a critical hire to the realization of FF's US-China dual home strategy," said Global Faraday Future CEO Carsten Breitfeld in a statement announcing the appointment. "I am confident that his comprehensive management acumen and operational experience in luxury car brands will accelerate the implementation of FF's business in China and will be beneficial to FF's global strategic development."

Prior to joining Faraday, Chen served as the executive vice president of Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive. He had been promoted from executive vice president of manufacturing, becoming the youngest executive running China-side business in an automotive joint venture.

The Los Angeles startup is expected to go public by midyear in a deal that values it at $3.4 billion. Its anchor investor is Hangzhou, China-based Geely Holding Group, an automotive manufacturing company that has plans to spend almost $5 billion to build an electric battery plant in China, Reuters reported earlier this week.

Faraday will use Geely's manufacturing services and technology and engineering support to develop its base in China.

Faraday is also preparing to roll out its flagship product one year after going public. The FF 91 is an all-electric, autonomous ready luxury vehicle that boasts more than 300 miles per charge and a 1050 horsepower.

It's expected to go into production later this year.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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GrayMatter Robotics Raises $20M To Make Industrial Bots Smarter

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

GrayMatter Robotics Raises $20M To Make Industrial Bots Smarter
Screenshot from GrayMatter Robotics

Gardena-based GrayMatter Robotics, an industrial robotics firm, raised a $20 million Series A round to accelerate hiring engineering and development staff for its mission of training robots to do menial factory work currently done by humans.

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